This lovely, uncrowded, three-mile round-trip hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park made for a nice, peaceful afternoon. We saw no one else on the trail and had the falls to ourselves - a rare treat in the National Parks.
After some morning zip-lining outside the park and then lunch, we headed out for a hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We drove to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, one of our favorite scenic drives in the park. A couple of tenths of a mile in is the Baskins Creek Trail.
We arrived around 4:00, parked on the pull-off at the trail head, and walked down the shaded trail.
The hike to Baskins Falls was a three-mile round-trip, and I thought it would be a good afternoon training hike for our longer two-day hike in a few days.
For the first third of a mile, it was a gentle, easy trail with streams, ferns, and moss-covered logs.
There were some Mountain Laurels still blooming (most were done) ....
and there were a couple of Rhododendrons in bloom.
The trails are going to be gorgeous when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom a little later.
After the opening in the trees where the shrubs and trees were blooming, we started the long descent toward the creek.
It was downhill for the next half mile until we reached a creek crossing at the .9-mile mark.
Then, it was another steep descent for the next third of a mile as we followed the creek down.
Eventually, we came to an intersection and a sign pointing to Baskins Falls.
It was only another tenth of a mile or so to the falls. The last 50 feet was steep and rocky, but not too bad.
Baskins Falls is a 50-foot, two-tiered waterfall that is every bit as pretty as the much more popular Grotto Falls which we visited a couple of weeks ago on May 5.
We saw no one on the trail, and we had the falls completely to ourselves for the half hour or so that we were there. Linda took a short video.
We were both ready to take a nap next to the soothing water.
Before it got too late, I took one last photo .....
and we started back.
The return trip with quite a bit of upward elevation change was the "training" part of the hike. But we managed just fine. It's a nice little hike without the crowds, which makes it even better.
Back at the Jeep, we completed the rest of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, the last half of which is stunningly beautiful with the streams and moss-covered rocks.
The combination hike and scenic drive is worth a few hours of time.
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